When Jim is cooking steaks or chicken on the grill, one of my favorite side dishes is mushroom risotto. It’s also the perfect complement to red curry halibut. Mushroom risotto is my idea of comfort food: rich, creamy, and delicious.
When a friend told me she makes risotto in an Instant Pot, I did a happy dance and immediately converted my recipe. I made it several times before I got it right. Now it’s hard to taste the difference between labor-intensive and kitchen-messing traditional risotto and the faster Instant Pot variety, although I must admit the texture of the traditional risotto is better for risotto cakes.
I’ve included directions for both recipes. Instant Pot risotto uses less chicken broth, but otherwise, the ingredients are the same.
Traditional risotto is not hard to make, but it’s time-consuming, adding four cups of chicken broth a half cup at a time and stirring until the broth is absorbed. It can also require three pans: one to preheat the broth, one to cook the onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and one for the rice. That’s doable in a larger kitchen, but in my one-butt kitchen, I’m always looking for short cuts that produce fewer dirty dishes and take up less space on my stovetop.
Rather than heating the chicken broth in a pan, I zap a cup of broth in the microwave for a minute when I need it. Using hot broth keeps the temperature from dropping when you add more to the rice, ensuring that the rice cooks evenly and has a creamy texture.
Even when it’s just the two of us, I always make a full batch. The leftovers make tasty risotto cakes.
Instant Pot Preparation time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Traditional Preparation time: 50 minutes Total time: 50 minutes
One-butt kitchen needs:
- With an Instant Pot, you can make mushroom risotto in a fraction of the prep time.
- Use a Mortar and Pestle to grind dried herbs to a powder, releasing more of their flavors.
Serves 4 (with leftovers for Risotto Cakes!)
- 3 tbsp (or more) avocado, olive or canola oil, divided
- 1 small onion, (or 2 large shallots) diced
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound fresh baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp dried thyme, ground in
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional, if you don’t use wine, add ½ cup more chicken broth)
- 2 cups chicken broth (if you use an Instant Pot, 3 to 4 cups to make it the traditional way)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Instant Pot Directions
Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Use a mortar and pestle to ground the dried thyme into a powder. Add mushrooms, thyme, and parsley. Stir well, making sure there’s enough oil to lightly coat the mushrooms. Add a little more oil if necessary. Sauté until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1 tbsp oil and rice to the pot. Stir until rice is well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until most liquid has evaporated.
Add chicken broth and stir. Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Set Instant Pot to Manual and set time to 12 minutes. When the programmed cooking period is over, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then open the pressure-release valve. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Reserve a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on top.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Use a mortar and pestle to ground the dried thyme into a powder. Add mushrooms, thyme, and parsley. Stir well, making sure there’s enough oil to lightly coat the mushrooms. Add a little more oil if necessary. Sauté until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. If you want to only dirty one pan, you can put the mushroom mixture in a bowl and reuse the pan.
Heat chicken broth, a cup at a time, in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Repeat as necessary.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and rice in a pan over medium heat. Stir until rice is well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until most liquid has evaporated.
Add warm chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often. Allow the rice to absorb the broth before adding more. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture and Parmesan cheese. Reserve a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on top.